CIA Director Mike Pompeo met secretly with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in recent weeks to set up a meeting between Mr. Kim and President Trump.
According to the Washington Post, which cited two individuals with knowledge of the trip, Pompeo and Kim discussed the planned summit between the US and North Korea leaders.
The trip took place shortly after Mr Pompeo was nominated by Mr Trump to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, two anonymous sources “with direct knowledge of the trip” told the newspaper.
Later the Reuters news agency said the report had been confirmed to them by senior officials.
While Aljazeera newspaper posts that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders clarified Trump’s comments, saying “the president said the administration has had talks at the highest levels and added that they were not with him directly”.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump had said that the US was engaged in direct talks at “extremely high levels” with Pyongyang.
The president also said he has given South Korea his “blessing” to negotiate a historic peace deal with North Korea to formally end the war that started in 1950. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is slated to meet with Mr. Kim for talks on April 27.